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5 Scams Foolish Tourists Always Fall For

stealing

Your passport is fresh and awaiting new stamps. Your bags are packed. You've put a hold on your mail, arranged for someone to water your plants and picked up a set of travel-sized toiletries for your carry-on. You're definitely ready to travel. Maybe you're looking forward to eating exotic cuisine, adventures in foreign countries, visits to historicallandmarks.
You're probably not, however, expecting to be the victim of a tourist scam.
In 2008, more than 25 million Americans traveled overseas. To a seasoned scam artist, that's a lot of potential victims! The best way to avoid falling victim to a crime is to use your head. Be aware of your surroundings, trust your gut, take appropriate precautions and keep your wits about you. Traveling is supposed to be fun. Going on vacation doesn't have to be a scary or paranoia-inducing experience. The idea is to travel smart and know what (or who) to avoid. So let's get you acquainted with some of world's most common cons.
1: "Good Samaritans"
A good Samaritan is a person who goes out of his or her way to assist a fellow human being. When you're traveling in an unfamiliar country, you might hope for a good Samaritan to help you find your way. Unfortunately, however, some "good Samaritans" are actually con artistsin disguise.
2: Unscrupulous Cabbies
It's quite easy for cabbies to swindle money out of an unsuspecting tourist. They prey off your being a stranger in a strange land.

3: Money Changing "Errors"
Many crooks like to take advantage of your unfamiliarity with the currency of the country you're visiting. One common scam is called the "slow count." In busy tourist areas, some cashiers will count out your change very slowly, with confusing pauses, in the hopes you'll just take what they're holding out to you and leave. Usually the amount in their hand is way less than what you should have received.
4: Create a Distraction, Steal Your Wallet
So many variations on this scam exist, we can't even list them all! But here's the gist -- someone creates a distraction, and someone else steals your wallet.
5: Fake Police Officers
In any country, police personnel are supposed to be on your side. However, it's also easy for scam artists to pose as police -- and use that implied authority to take your money. Here's how they do it.

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